Stress Vs Anxiety: Knowing the Difference

Have you ever experienced excessive worries, lacking focus, sleepless nights, exhaustion, and irritability? Did you get confused between stress and anxiety? Wondering when to take a deep breath and professional’s help? Do not worry; stress and anxiety are used interchangeably by people and the cause is different, however. 

Firstly, let us make you clear that stress and anxiety are part and parcel of humans’ emotions. They attack us to make sure that we are ready to face the situations. The only thing we need to do is to be ready to tackle any difficulty we face in our day to day life with tips and tricks. Read on to know the fine line between stress and anxiety and let them not impact your lifestyle.

What Is Stress?

Stress is nothing but your body’s reaction (physically, mentally, and emotionally) to trigger and is generally a short term experience. Stress is a normal part of life. The triggers can be short terms such as work deadline, or a fight with a loved one, or long terms such as poverty, discrimination, or chronic illness. When stress kicks in and helps you to clear the deadline it is positive stress, and when it results in insomnia it is negative stress.

Symptoms of Stress

There are a number of emotional and physical disorders related to stress. When you are stressed, you may experience:

  • Frequent headaches

  • Excessive worry

  • Frequent illness

  • Irritability

  • Poor concentration

  • Forgetfulness

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Back/neck pain

  • Sweaty palms or feet

  • Muscle tension

  • Loneliness

  • A feeling of being overwhelmed

  • Dizziness

  • Low energy

Symptoms of stress can vary from time to time. When you get to know your responses to stress, it will help you to reduce stress using stress reduction techniques.

How to Cope up With Stress?

Learning to cope up with stress requires some trial and error methods; every individual’s way of reducing stress is unique. Knowing your own way of controlling stress is important. You can try the following techniques.

  • Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of life more than a technique. When you practice being mindful of your actions and feeling things happening around you, you will definitely find a way to live with less stress.

  • Relaxation Breathing

Practice this breathing strategy to make some peace. Inhale for a count of four, and exhale for four. Repeat.

  • Journaling

It is normal to face ups and downs in your day to day life. Write down whatever you feel because your journal will never judge you. When you jot down things, you will get an idea about dealing with things in the right way.

  • Others

Give a bell to your best friend or a family member who gets you right. You can practice yoga or go for a quick walk. Take a book and be creative, color your favorite pictures, or try DIY techniques. You can also try listening to music according to your taste or read a good book.

  • Seek Help

When you feel you are not able to cope with stress even after practicing a few techniques, you can consult a therapist and talk to them.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a serious disorder that can cause paralysis to your healthy thoughts, interfering with daily activity, performance, social situations, which requires professional attention. It can linger and may not have an identifiable trigger. Anxiety is a problem when it becomes overwhelming and it comes up unexpectedly. 

Symptoms of Anxiety

People having anxiety disorders may experience a lot of uncomfortable physical sensations and physical health issues. They feel trapped by their thoughts and feelings. They may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Tenseness
  • Restlessness
  • A feeling of unease or dread
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty in concentrating/ mind going blank
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fear of a situation that likely will never happen 

Treatment and Management

Many people get benefited from psychotherapy and meditation. The following may help you with treatment:

Learn About Anxiety

In order to overcome anxiety, you need to study it. It is not that education cures anxiety; it will help you to get through the process. So, have a clear idea about what is bothering you.

Lifestyle Changes

There are several changes you can make at home before you go for medication. Daily exercise, settling for the best rather than aiming for perfection, accepting that you cannot control everything, maintaining a proper sleep cycle, taking healthy food, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol intake are few things you can try at home.


Talk therapy is good in helping people identify and process their triggers. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a highly effective, short term treatment that helps people to learn skills to face their triggers. Sometimes, hypnosis also helps in combination with CBT to control anxiety.

This video will help you to get 5 tips to deal with stress and anxiety, take your time to watch and follow the tips. It is 101% true that stress is part and parcel of our lives, but when it becomes anxiety and goes out of control affecting our healthy lifestyle we should see that we take the necessary steps to be free from mental chaos. Seek professional’s help if you cannot speak out with your loved ones and take care of yourself; because you are precious.

Written By - Sravanthi Cheerladinne

Edited By - Kashish Chadha

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